So Let Them Watch – Mr.Mr.

June 9, 2014 in moonrise31, So Let Them Watch by moonrise31

In this ten-chapter fic, each member represents a concept from a different Girls’ Generation music video—with a few creative liberties tossed in, of course.

Seohyun: The robot with a key, some bravery, and quite possibly a heartbeat.

Yoona: An artist with the age if not the years, and the notes if not the experience.

Sooyoung: The dreamer with her head in the clouds and her feet on the ground.

Yuri: A magician who doesn’t believe in magic, but maybe that’s what makes her so perfect.

Introducing Hyoyeon: You make stars out of glass broken by scars.

Seohyun’s previous portal-traveling experiences had involved a lot of falling. And after landing, discoveries that she could apparently feel things like pain. This time was no different—except that when she had recovered enough to take in her surroundings, she was sitting in a cushioned chair, and the only pain she was feeling was the familiar sharpness in her arm that had first appeared when she’d landed in Yuri’s basement.

“Doctor Kim will be with you soon,” a voice suddenly spoke. Seohyun looked up and saw a woman sitting behind a desk across from her. “Miss A. Min” was printed on the name plate next to a cup of pens and a clipboard.

“Doctor,” Seohyun murmured under her breath. It was fortunate that as soon as she’d left Yuri, thus apparently making the magician’s “spell” on her injury wear off, she’d landed in the very place that could help her. And maybe this Doctor Kim could answer a few questions about exactly what she was, anyway.

“Seohyun?” A blonde woman in pink entered the waiting room and gave Seohyun a warm smile.

“Hello,” Seohyun greeted softly as she stood up, cradling her injured arm. She followed Doctor Kim—Hyoyeon Kim, according to the nametag pinned to the pink doctor’s coat—down the hall and obediently sat on the examination table when gestured to do so.

“So let’s take a look at that arm, shall we? As soon as we get some checkup things out of the way.” Hyoyeon slipped the stethoscope from around her neck.

Seohyun held her breath when the doctor pressed the circle of cold metal to her chest.

Hyoyeon chuckled. “I’ll need you to exhale, Seohyun. Then inhale afterwards. Yeah, just like that.”

“Does…does everything sound…okay?” Seohyun asked timidly as Hyoyeon moved to listen to her breathing from the back. She winced as Hyoyeon brushed her hair to one side, but luckily her neck stayed covered.

“You sound a bit nervous,” Hyoyeon commented, tone teasing as she shifted her hand towards Seohyun’s other shoulder blade. “But otherwise your heart is very strong.”

Seohyun had nothing to say to that.

“Alright, next step.” Hyoyeon reached over to the wall behind Seohyun and grabbed a wooden tongue depressor. “Say ah!”

“Ahhhhhhh.”

The rest of the checkup went smoothly: Hyoyeon took her blood pressure, tested her reflexes, peered into both of her ears. When Hyoyeon’s gentle fingers prodded at her sides, she prayed to whatever higher power might be out there (perhaps the one that was sending her on this portal-filled journey in the first place) that feeling her neck wasn’t also part of the procedure. Or that Hyoyeon would just casually glance up and see a glint of metal beneath her hair.

At each new task, Seohyun waited for the doctor to stop, frown, and step back. Maybe stroke her chin and mutter, “well that’s not right.” But apparently, she passed the examination with flying colors.

“Okay.” Hyoyeon exhaled and picked up the clipboard lying on the desk nearby. She flipped through the pages. “So you had a bit of a fall, huh? Just yesterday, so shouldn’t be too bad. We’ll take an x-ray and go from there.”

Yesterday? The question was on the tip of Seohyun’s tongue, but she held it back. As far as she could figure, she’d stayed at Yuri’s for at least a week, preparing for the magician’s comeback show.

I guess those portals allow time travel, too.

Hyoyeon led her further down the hall. As she sat in the middle of a room vibrating with the hum of several machines, Seohyun wondered if it meant anything that she felt closer to the doctor fiddling with some switches than the device in front of her currently blinking to life. The results of the x-ray would settle it, in either case.

Minutes later, Seohyun was back on the examination table. Hyoyeon walked in with several translucent sheets in hand. She clipped them to a fluorescent board on the wall and turned it on, bathing the x-rays in white light.

Seohyun stared.

“The good thing is that your arm doesn’t seem to be broken,” Hyoyeon was explaining. “So I’ll just wrap it for you and you should be good to go in a week or two,” she continued, as if nothing was out of the ordinary.

And nothing was out of the ordinary. Seohyun’s x-ray showed a perfectly normal, human limb. She couldn’t take her eyes off the image of those bones—her bones. Slender and pale, and quite decidedly the most beautiful thing she’d seen in a long time.

“And there we go.”

Seohyun looked down as Hyoyeon stepped back. The doctor nodded in approval of Seohyun’s now wrapped forearm. “That should do it. I think we’re done here.”

Seohyun glanced back up and met Hyoyeon’s grin with a cheerful smile of her own. “Thank you.”

“So, Seohyun,” Hyoyeon began casually as they walked back towards the waiting room. “I noticed that you left your address blank.” She lifted the clipboard, shifting her thumb to point out the empty lines towards the top of the sheet.

Seohyun blinked, knowing it was probably best not to reply that in reality, she hadn’t filled out any of the form; it had just been one of those things mysteriously already in place for her by the time she arrived in each new setting. But even the all-powerful being whisking her from one universe to another and arranging circumstances to be just right seemed unable to make up something as simple as a place for her to stay.

“Apologies, Doctor.” She bowed her head, knowing that going with the barest truth always made things easier. “That’s because…I don’t really have an address.” And then she’d let conclusions be drawn from that.

“Oh, that’s why? Nothing to be sorry for,” Hyoyeon scoffed immediately, patting Seohyun on the back. She opened the door with her other hand and peered into the waiting room. “Then I’m guessing you don’t have plans for tonight?”

Seohyun tilted her head. “Not really…”

“Great!” Hyoyeon turned around and threw a friendly arm around her shoulders. Seohyun just stopped herself from stiffening as she felt the inside of the other’s elbow only barely graze the key in her neck. “Then you can have the pleasure of my company instead.”

“What?” Seohyun gave a tiny shake of her head. “I mean, no offense to you, Doctor, but are you sure this is really appropriate…”

“What do you mean? We’re just unnie and dongsaeng relaxing after a long day,” Hyoyeon countered pleasantly. “Especially since unnie’s friend has apparently ditched her for the night.”

Seohyun glanced at the now empty receptionist’s desk and hid the beginnings of another smile. “I suppose if you’re done with work for today, and you don’t mind spending time with someone you just met.”

“Oh dear, is that how my dongsaeng feels?” Hyoyeon exclaimed, her expression one of mock horror. “Then I think some bonding is definitely in order.” She took off her pink doctor’s coat and hung it on the hook by the door. Upon seeing Seohyun eyeing the red dress she had underneath, Hyoyeon gave a careless wave. “You’re fine as you are. Just be ready to have some fun!”

“If you say so, unnie,” Seohyun laughed, and felt her cheeks warm as Hyoyeon grabbed her uninjured hand and dragged her out of the office.

Hyoyeon’s definition of “some fun” ended up being striding confidently into a club a couple blocks away. As soon as they entered, Seohyun was stunned by the amount of activity going on at once: lights flashing, voices shouting, bodies moving in all manners of directions.

“Come on!” Hyoyeon yelled over the din, waving Seohyun over to the bar by the dance floor. Then she turned to the bartender wiping glasses. “Hey, Junhyung, the usual for me, and another for my friend.”

Junhyung eyed Seohyun skeptically. “Is she old enough?” It was then that Seohyun realized she was back in the uniform from Yoona’s school, nametag and all. She really thought I would be okay to go to a club in this?

“Oh please, I’m her doctor, yeah?” Hyoyeon placed her elbows on the counter and raised her eyebrows. “Two shots, okay? Don’t make me hit you while I’m still sober.”

It certainly sounded like a threat to Seohyun, but Junhyung just laughed and murmured jokingly about “crazy exes” before turning to get their drinks. Hyoyeon grinned in victory before slipping onto a stool, patting the seat next to her. “Sit down, Seohyun, and let’s start talking.”

Seohyun worked the hem of her skirt between her thumb and pointer finger. “But unnie…I really can’t drink yet.”

“What are you talking about?” Hyoyeon looked genuinely confused. “You’re 22, aren’t you?”

Seohyun opened her mouth to reply, but she realized she wouldn’t really know either way.

The alcohol made Seohyun gag as soon as the first sip reached her tongue, but she swallowed bravely and tried not to make too pained of a face. She watched Hyoyeon down the shot at once and reflected that there might be a reason everyone seemed to do it that way. Even so, she remained wary of the remaining liquid in her glass, and Hyoyeon thankfully didn’t push her to finish even as Junhyung brought the doctor a second shot.

The clink of coins landing on the counter behind her made Seohyun remember something. “Unnie…don’t worry, I’ll pay you for today. I just don’t have money right at this moment.”

Hyoyeon waved off Seohyun’s growing worries—where am I going to get a job, are checkups as expensive as I’ve read about, do I even have insurance—and set down her emptied glass. “Really, Seohyun? I hardly expect you to have the money if you don’t even have an address.” She paused, as if suddenly realizing her lack of tact, but shrugged and continued. “I don’t charge if you can’t afford it. That’s also why my receptionist is only a volunteer, so she’s entitled to walk off for the day whenever she’s feeling it.”

Seohyun smiled. “And why your doctor’s coat is pink?”

“Oh, that.” Hyoyeon laughed. “Yeah, sort of. More a favor to my up-and-coming designer friend,” she leaned in close, covering her mouth with one hand, “who’s just a bit too desperate for exposure, if you ask me. But whatever floats her boat, I guess.” She sat up straight again when Junhyung slid her third shot across the counter. “So, Seohyun. Mind telling me what a 22-year-old is doing in a high school uniform?”

Seohyun thought of Yoona—whom she had also called “unnie”—and became very confused. “I…I think, when I got this uniform…I think I was supposed to be high school age.”

Hyoyeon pondered this statement for a moment. Then she smiled, a little goofily in Seohyun’s opinion. “Okay.” She downed her shot and waved for another.

Three drinks later (Seohyun was still nursing her first), it was hard to tell whether Hyoyeon was even a little bit tipsy. But Seohyun figured the alcohol must have been doing something, if only because Hyoyeon was subtly peering over the counter to examine the floor tiles on the other side.

“What?” Seohyun asked, trying to discern the doctor’s mumbles over the thumping bass from the loudspeakers.

“These look just like the ones in my bathroom,” Hyoyeon repeated, a little more loudly.

“Oh.” Seohyun sat back, amused, and stared at the clear liquor still in her glass. She’d thought about offering it to Hyoyeon, but she didn’t want to feel more out of place than she already was. “Maybe you should stop now, unnie.”

“What? No way. Everyone is always telling me to stop.” Hyoyeon’s bottom lip jutted out. “Not you too.”

“Stopping before you get too drunk is a good thing,” Seohyun reminded her gently. “You’re a doctor, unnie. You should know that.”

“Yeah!” Hyoyeon pounded a fist on the counter. “I’m the doctor, so I get to decide how to run my practice, you know?”

Seohyun paused. “We’re not talking about the same thing, are we.”

“I can’t run a charity, I’m going to work myself to the ground, I can’t save the world,” Hyoyeon continued in a mocking tone, ticking off each statement on her fingers. “Well, I can run a charity if I want to, I won’t overwork myself as long as I get to relax like this once in a while, and I don’t want to save the world.” She huffed. “Maybe just South Korea. Or this town. That’ll do.”

Seohyun laughed, but what Hyoyeon had said was definitely beyond simply amusing. The realization that the doctor took care of patients for free warmed her more pleasantly than alcohol ever could. “I think that’s really admirable, unnie. But you won’t be able to save anything if you have a hangover tomorrow morning. Maybe we should get you home?”

“Mmmm later.” Hyoyeon stood up and, to her credit, only wobbled for a few moments before steadying herself. She grabbed Seohyun’s good hand and began walking towards the dance floor.

“Unnie—” Seohyun started, letting her heels drag a little. “Unnie, I don’t think—you can probably just go—I’m not very good at dancing.”

“Don’t be silly,” Hyoyeon scoffed, spinning around to face her. “Anyone can dance. It’s just whether you’ll let yourself or not that’s the problem.” She winked and began moving to the beat, whatever haze of alcohol she’d had over her suddenly lifting. “So, you gonna?”

Seohyun didn’t answer right away. She found the beat of the music—which wasn’t hard, given that it was literally vibrating in her newly discovered bones. She began shuffling her feet, a bit awkwardly, but still in time. It was hard to stay self-conscious, though, when Hyoyeon had entirely let loose in front of her, hair swishing back and forth as she began moving her body in ways Seohyun hadn’t thought possible. But it looked so natural, so powerful, that Seohyun lost herself in amazement and unconsciously relaxed more and more, until she was pulling off a more moderate imitation of Hyoyeon.

“Now you’re getting it!” Hyoyeon whooped, and Seohyun watched her arm seemingly lose all structure as a wave transferred up through her shoulders and down to the other hand. Seohyun lifted her arm to try, but stopped when she felt her wrist stiffen.

“Maybe start with your good hand,” Hyoyeon suggested with a chuckle, grabbing Seohyun’s other wrist and shoulder and gently bending them in a passable wave. “There you go. Just like that!” Seohyun grinned, feeling exhilarated by her success, Hyoyeon’s liveliness, the energy of the hundreds of other people surrounding them. This is kind of fun—

“Someone call a doctor!”

The shout sliced through the music before the DJ thought to turn it off. By the time the last remnants of the bass had faded away, a hush had already settled on the now motionless crowd. Only Hyoyeon dared move, pushing her way past throng after throng of people. “Excuse me, I’m a doctor. Doctor, coming through. Make way, please.” Seohyun stuck close behind, aware of the many eyes now curiously watching them.

“He’s not breathing,” someone to Seohyun’s left said, but she didn’t turn to see who it was. Instead, she stared at the man lying on the floor, face pale and covered with a thin sheen of sweat.

“What a way to ruin a nice suit,” Hyoyeon commented, but fortunately only Seohyun heard. The doctor knelt down and tapped his shoulder. “Hey, mister, are you okay?” He didn’t respond. She turned to address the person behind her. “You’ve called the hospital, right? He’ll need medical attention in the proper facility.” Once she heard an affirmative, she bent down, ear right above his lips while she pressed two fingers to the side of his neck. “No breathing, no pulse,” she murmured. “Seohyun.”

Seohyun quickly knelt down beside her. “Yes, unnie?”

“I need you to pump his chest for me. Both hands, just like this, yeah. Push down, and then wait…good. Okay I’m gonna have you do that thirty more times, just like that, okay? Then I’m gonna give him a couple of breaths, and you go again.”

Seohyun’s mind went into autopilot, counting to thirty as she pumped and waiting for Hyoyeon to tell her when to start another round.

Twenty-seven.

Twenty-eight.

Twenty-nine…

Did his eyelids twitch, just a little? Or was it just a trick of the still flashing lights?

Eleven.

Twelve.

Thirteen…

Hyoyeon didn’t stay still, constantly feeling for his pulse, checking for his breathing, staring at his face intently as if it might bring the color back to his cheeks.

One.

Two.

Three.

“Seohyun, stop,” Hyoyeon called softly. She leaned down, her ear over the man’s mouth once more. Only when she had confirmed her initial observation did she allow herself a smile. “We did it. He’s back.”

The club remained eerily quiet for the next ten minutes before the medics arrived, placing the now barely breathing man on a stretcher. Hyoyeon politely answered their questions, but after several minutes she handed them her card and excused herself. “Come on,” she said to Seohyun. “Let’s go home.”

Now Seohyun noticed the bags under the doctor’s eyes, the weariness lacing her voice. So she put an arm around Hyoyeon and let the other lean on her as they waited at the curb for a taxi. Hyoyeon managed to tell the driver her address before she dozed off on Seohyun’s shoulder for most of the ride. She woke up again when they pulled up in front of her building. After paying, she directed Seohyun inside and to the elevators, because “there’s no way I’m taking eight flights of stairs.”

“Keys, keys,” Hyoyeon murmured, fumbling in her purse once they’d stopped in front of her apartment. Seohyun noticed a glint among the contents and quietly reached over to retrieve it. She unlocked the door and Hyoyeon shuffled inside. “Lemme just set up on the couch and then you can have the bed.”

“No no, unnie, I don’t need it, really,” Seohyun started, because of all the increasingly human things she’d discovered about herself lately, the fact remained that she didn’t need to sleep. But Hyoyeon had already collapsed, legs hanging off the edge of the sofa. She attempted to get up again, but it came out as a weak flailing. “Whoops…I just need to…”

Seohyun chuckled and walked over, gently lifting the doctor’s legs onto the couch. “There you go, unnie. Sleep well, okay?” She looked over with a smile, but Hyoyeon’s sleepy gaze had transfixed on something else.

“Seohyun…key…?”

“I put it on your kitchen counter,” Seohyun replied, gesturing behind her.

“No…” Hyoyeon shook her head slowly, eyelids already drooping. “You…”

Seohyun watched as the doctor drifted off. She was acutely aware, now, of how her hair was hanging over her shoulders, leaving the back of her neck exposed.

She stood silently for an hour or so afterwards, thinking about her key, but rubbing her bandaged wrist.

“Wow, you’re an early bird, aren’t you?”

Seohyun turned from the eggs she was scrambling. “It’s not exactly morning anymore, unnie.”

Hyoyeon glanced at the clock and winced. “Fair point. You’re making eggs for lunch, then?”

“It was all I could find in your refrigerator,” Seohyun answered a bit defensively, though she didn’t add that eggs were all she had learned to cook while she’d stayed with Yuri. That, and how to make some sort of ma drink, but it didn’t seem like Hyoyeon had any yams lying around.

The doctor raised her hands in surrender. “Just joking, Seohyun. If you’re making me food, I really can’t complain.” She walked over to stand beside her, watching the eggs sizzle. “You did a great job last night, by the way. I don’t think I could’ve kept pumping his chest for that long. Breathing for him was already making me dizzy.”

Seohyun tilted her head. Hyoyeon had seemed fine back then, just really tired. But maybe she was just better at hiding intoxication than Seohyun had originally assumed. “I know you need to relax, unnie, but maybe you can do it in a way that doesn’t involve so much alcohol?”

“Yeah, maybe,” Hyoyeon smiled ruefully. “I keep telling myself that I know my limit, and that I can take care of myself. I mean, I’m a doctor, right? But evidently I’m just a stupid one.”

Seohyun shook her head, turning off the stove. “No. You’re amazing, unnie. You did everything correctly last night, and even if you could’ve messed up, you didn’t. So don’t let yourself forget that.

“You heal a lot of people,” she lifted her wrapped arm, “and don’t even ask for anything in return. So I don’t feel any more selfish than I already do if I ask that you just remember to take care of yourself as well.”

Hyoyeon chuckled. “Yes ma’am.” She paused, then patted Seohyun’s head. “But really. Thanks.” Her expression brightened as she grabbed the plate from the other’s hands. “And thanks for breakfast. Lunch? Brunch?”

Seohyun laughed and sat down across from her at the counter. “You’re also a really amazing dancer, unnie. Maybe you could spend your time at a studio or something instead?”

Hyoyeon snorted. “Oh come on, Seohyun. Don’t be silly. What kind of studio would want my kind of crazy club dancing? Hey,” she noticed Seohyun’s lack of food, “did you already eat?”

Before Seohyun could reply, the doorbell rang. “I got it.” Hyoyeon set her chopsticks down and slid off the seat. She disappeared down the hallway, out of sight, and Seohyun heard the door open.

“Oh, what’re you doing here? Come on in.”

Seohyun thought that maybe she should leave the kitchen to introduce herself, but Hyoyeon returned just then, another woman in tow. The latter saw Seohyun and gave a brilliant smile. “Hello there! What’s your name?”

“Seohyun,” Seohyun said, looking at the woman’s pink jacket and wondering where she had seen that particular shade before.

The woman’s grin widened as she held out a hand.

“Seohyun? Hi! I’m Tiffany.”